Do you take comfort from Trump’s historically low poll numbers? After all, with an approval rating below 40 percent, he is the most unpopular president in American history.
But don’t be misled. That base of his is rock solid.
A friend of mine, Christian McCulloch, posted an observation on Facebook recently that Trump’s base would turn against him only if he suddenly became black.
And that is disturbingly close to the truth.
Rickie, our neighbor across the street, is a Trump supporter, and he dropped by the other day to bend my ear.
He went on the usual right-wing rant about Hillary – and just about everybody else in the Democratic hierarchy – being child molesters and worse. He repeated the right wing’s pet conspiracy theories – the “assassination” of that Democratic National Party worker who leaked thousands of damning DNC emails, for example.
Then he exposed the root cause of the Trump revolt.
“We white people have been pushed around for too long,” he grumbled.
I’ll bet that comes as news to anyone in America who has run into “white privilege.” And to anyone who has been prosecuted for driving while black.
I’m sure the loved ones of black victims of police violence – those hapless young men gunned down as a result of obvious racial profiling for example – don’t think American culture unfairly favors nonwhites.
But apparently, a lot of white Americans feel unfairly treated. I guess they’re upset at being told not to use the N word any longer. And they’re fuming over Affirmative Action and other political attempts to compensate for the horrors of slavery.
To these people, Trump is their champion. He could use the presidency to fill his pockets, trash our precious environment, fire anyone who dares to stand up to him – or, I suppose, even shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, as he once said. None of those abuses would matter to the aggrieved white Americans who support him.
Of course this is shocking. Of course you and I find it hard to believe America is still so primitive. We had thought that the election and reelection of a black president meant the country had at long last emerged from the shadows of Jim Crow.
Sadly, we were wrong. America has come a long way, but the society still has a long way to go before it can claim to be completely enlightened.